Through a land of distress and danger,
inhabited by lionesses and roaring lions, 2
by snakes and darting adders, 3
they transport 4 their wealth on the backs of donkeys,
their riches on the humps of camels,
to a nation that cannot help them. 5
1 tn Traditionally, “burden” (so KJV, ASV); NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV “oracle.”
2 tc Heb “[a land of] a lioness and a lion, from them.” Some emend מֵהֶם (mehem, “from them”) to מֵהֵם (mehem), an otherwise unattested Hiphil participle from הָמַם (hamam, “move noisily”). Perhaps it would be better to take the initial mem (מ) as enclitic and emend the form to הֹמֶה (homeh), a Qal active participle from הָמָה (hamah, “to make a noise”); cf. J. N. Oswalt, Isaiah (NICOT), 1:542, n. 9.
4 tn Or “carry” (KJV, NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV).
5 sn This verse describes messengers from Judah transporting wealth to Egypt in order to buy Pharaoh’s protection through a treaty.